The Return Of the Avon Lady
With the economy still tanking in most parts of the world, many people are finding themselves unemployed and/or obsolete in industries that are being dissolved. For the optimist, forced joblessness means a free pass to new horizons; for the beauty-inclined in England, it apparently means joining the few, the proud, the Avon sales team. The U.K.’s Daily Mail reported an increase in interest for direct-selling businesses like Avon—15 percent in the last three months alone—which is also seeing a shift in its recruits. Stay-at-home mothers who go door-to-door with the company’s range of cosmetics and perfumes to earn a little extra cash have been replaced by city and retail workers hit hard by the economic downturn, and even (gasp!) men. Since women have a reputation for drowning their sorrows in pots of face cream and flacons of fragrance, now does seem like an opportune time to get in on the game, although a culture of mistrust and cynicism might prevent the whole traveling-salesman thing from ever making a real resurgence on this side of the pond. Just out of curiosity, how badly would you need that case of Skin So Soft to let a stranger come into your home and pitch you product?